Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beyond the Boundary S1 E1 - Don't Trip Mirai!

I was looking for another anime to occupy my time whilst not watching Kill la Kill. I wanted something that would be fun to blog about and that would naturally motivate me to share with readers. Beyond the Boundary does just that, and with ease. These summaries will give brief overviews of each episodes and my opinions about them. I can't possibly cover everything and I encourage you to watch the full episodes yourself which are currently being simulcast on Crunchyroll. The first episode hits you like a freight train within its opening scene. I was was so intrigued by the two main characters and their initial reaction, that I had a general moment of shock.

Mirai Kuriyama is pictured at the beginning of the episode about to attempt suicide by jumping off the roof of a building when the other series' main character Akihito Kanbara arrives. This is the first seen that placed me into a state of awe and shock, one that gripped me instantly into the plot of the anime. The biggest shock (as shown in the image above) is when Mirai does a back flip and attempts to stab and kill Akihito. Akihito doesn't die and they leave the scene asking who each other are given the circumstances. Personally I like anime that give me the feels and kick me in the face to keep my attention, and so far this anime does all of that all in the first scene.

Later, Mirai gets caught by Akihito spying on him while he is talking to Mitsuki Nase who is the president of the literary club. This prompts some embarrassing tripping and klutzy movements by Mirai, ultimately establishing her as a likable klutz, and then a cat and mouse chase between her and Akihito. Her constant fighting with him is explained as a means to practice her youmu slaying, as she is a Spirit World Warrior. Akihito is immortal, so stabbing him repeatedly essentially is an easy way for Mirai to learn how to better fight (plus who doesn't like stabbing an innocent unarmed male over and over again?). Mirai is, as I stated before, a klutz. The best scene of this episode is where she cuts herself out of a locker/cabinet and emerges with a bucket stuck on her head. Honestly I probably love this series thus far based on her character alone, not even taking into account the story or plot.

The first episode of Beyond the Boundary acts as a way in which to bring us into the human and youmu world. While this episode culminates with a battle between Mirai and a youmu (once Akihito has convinced her to actually fight it) we aren't given a full explanation as to what is going on, but we don't need one yet. The first episode of the series is explicitly designed to grab our attention and act as visual candy that will be lent an expository set of episodes to follow. One of the interesting vague plot points that we are let known, is the fact that the character and head of the literary club, Mitsuki Nase, does not want Akihito to get involved with Mirai. We can only ponder as to the full reasons, but she links it to Mirai's ancestry and secretive past.

In the end of the episode Mirai finally starts to fight the youmu. Akihito is there but he seems to only be there to lend moral support. Honestly, I really like how Mirai's klutzy sublime nature and Spirit World Warrior blood wielding powers mesh. Having these abilities allow Mirai to shine as a lovable character and Akihito's fetish over glasses and her glasses adds to some of the comic relief so we don't get too bogged down in details and the world and characters being created. This show is a must watch for any self-respecting anime fan and is sure to yield a snowballing fan base as other viewers start to take notice of its polished style and engaging story.

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